Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Sometimes the Beatles said it best. The last couple of weeks I've learned how real friends act. They bring you food, they hug you, and they send flowers and cards, even if they know that you know they love you. The outpouring of support has been truly humbling.

Mom's funeral was just what we wanted it to be: some tears, but a lot of laughter and hope. I know that she would have been pleased, except for the bicycle pictures we put on the big screen. She is probably waiting next to St. Peter at the pearly gates, saying, "Don't you let those children in here!"

Seriously, I think we have received every sympathy card Hallmark makes, and enough flowers to clean out several florists. One friend sent a vase of flowers today, after all the other fresh flowers had wilted, just because she wanted to brighten my day.

In the future, I hope I will remember to send cards to people on the prayer list, and I won't worry anymore whether or not I knew the person well enough to attend the funeral. Every person who came reminded us of how loved Mom was and how much we are loved. Maybe this will be Mom's last lesson: to make us all a little less selfish and a little more giving.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Things I Learned From Mom

My mom died of Alzheimer's disease on Friday. This will be read at her funeral tomorrow. She was a great lady, and I miss her. With Alzheimer's, I have missed her for a long time already...

Love God.
Obey Dad.
Practice. You may not like it, but you have to do it. You’ll thank me later.
If you say you will do something, do it—even if you don’t want to or think you don’t have time.
Regardless of what medicine tells us, children are made of soup. Mom threatened to knock the soup out of us at least once a week.
If your children aren’t getting along in the back seat of the car, it’s sometimes OK to let them work it out themselves. Make sure you have plenty of Kleenexes on hand for them to mop up any blood.
Don’t be afraid to have fun.
Memorize the hymnbook. You never know when you’ll need to know all 5 verses of “Just As I Am”.
Cooking is not rocket science. Sometimes recipe substitutions are successful.
Buy birthday cakes from the bakery if you don’t want your children laughing at you for the next half-century.
Love your husband.
Be hospitable. Entertain often.
Don’t be afraid to use the good dishes.
Enjoy all God’s creations, especially birds and dogs.
Be thankful that God gave us color.
Always look your best.
Wear a smile, even if your feet hurt.
Remember always that you are a LADY!
Treat your parents and your in-laws well.
Study hard, and do your best.
Check all place settings carefully before you serve your guests. Ice cream is best eaten with a spoon, not a butter knife.
When you work, give it your all.
Take lots of pictures. It helps if you label them.
Try new experiences. Eat new foods, climb mountains, raft down a river.
Cheer loudly for the Cardinals.
Play Christmas music all year round, so you can hear your entire collection.
Read lots of magazines. Always have at least two with you at all times. And you can always learn something from National Geographic.
The library is better than a bookstore, and cheaper, too.
Never miss a sale. Those green shoes have to match something. If you find something that fits and looks good, buy two.
Keep your old friends. Make new ones.
A big purse is a necessity, especially when taking popcorn to the Cardinals game. If it will hold the thermos of iced tea also, so much the better.
Memorize scripture.
Take your grandchildren places.
Doing some things cheaply is better than not doing them at all, and sometimes better than the expensive way.
Collect stuff. It gives you an excuse to go shopping.
If you collect stuff, make sure you have a big basement.
Encourage others. Send LOTS of cards.
Make things yourself. Food and clothes are both better homemade.
Remind your children that the important things are people, not things.
Prepare for eternity, because it lasts longer than life on earth.